Hey gang, here I am in the flesh taking you along through one of my workouts.  Check it out, follow along, tell me what you think.  :)
I've drawn inspiration from this quote for a long time.  It came up in conversation this weekend and I thought I'd share it for anyone needing a little umph.

Simple tips to help you keep fitness goals in sight during this festive time of year. 
    It begins, the onslaught of holiday sweet treat madness.  Put down the peppermint-cream-cheese brownie. Step away from the candy-cane-crusted chocolate martini. Between holiday treats at the office and co-workers trying to bring you down with them not to mention booze, booze, booze – risk is high that you’re beginning to look a lot like Jolly old Saint Nick. The good news is that you can indulge in holiday festivities without gaining weight, as long as you mind your metabolism.

Here are a few simple tips to keep those love handles under control.

  1.  Drink water before and after breakfast.  
    Studies have shown people who drink water before breakfast will eat 13% less throughout the day according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Add lemon juice to the water to nourish your liver.  After breakfast make water your primary drink.  At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year — or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.

    2.       Opt for the smaller plate
    It has been proven time and time again, our brains are easily tricked by what they thin k they see.  You will feel satisfied quicker when eating a descent portion on a small plate vs a large plate with lots plate taunting you.  This takes self-control out of the picture almost entirely.  Now don’t go back for that unnecessary second helping either.   

      3. Write down your goals.

So how many of the last holiday seasons have you continually told yourself you’re going to lose weight this holiday season?  And how many of those years did magic weight loss actually come to fruition?  Ah ha… and why do you think that is?  If your plan’s in your head, it’s a wish.  If you write it down, now you have a plan.  So everyone grab a pen and paper before you read on…… no seriously…. pen and paper, right now.

Ok now that you’re back let’s come up with a full proof plan.  Write down your fitness goals.  I’m going to go through the logistics of the most common goal.  “I want to lose 10 lbs by Christmas.”  So you have roughly 8 weeks depending on when you’re reading this.  That equals slightly more than a net loss of a pound a week.  In caloric terms we’re settling on 4,000 calories a week.  Totally doable, I know anyone can reach this goal if they hold themselves accountable.  We have to experience a net loss of 600 calories a day 7 days a week in order to reach that goal.  You are going to look at what you eat every day.  Be honest, find somewhere in your diet where you can cut out 300 calories.  Next hold yourself accountable to this.  You need to do 40 minutes of cardio in zone 1 and 2 (65-75%, & 75-80& of max HR) every day.  Write yourself up a chart of your flavor and stick to your plan.  I am writing down my goals and my plan.  I will let you know when I lose sight of the wagon.  Write me if you’re having problems staying accountable, and I would be obliged to guide you through these festive times. 

So cheers to 2011, your first healthy holiday season!

Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can't taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.
– Astrid Alauda

Ginger Carrot Juice Recipe

The best part about this amazing drink is how refreshing and cleansing it is. Ginger is a powerful additive to any juice and brings with it amazing natural properties. With the addition of raw honey, this juice becomes much sweeter and also benefits from the addition of a natural antiobiotic. The Celery and Apple juice nicely compliment the rest of the ingredients to produce a magical elixir of life.

5 pounds carrots.
1 chunk fresh ginger.
3 celery stalks.
2 Apples, unpeeled, use red apples such as Fuji or Pink Lady.
2 teaspoons raw honey (optional).
1 lemon.

Wash and Peel the carrots.
Clean the ginger and peel.
Combine the carrots, ginger, celery and apples in juicer. Add lemon juice.
(thanks carrotjuicerecipe.com)

Anyone have a tasty recipe with carrots that they can't resit the urge to talk about?

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exercise ought to always be this much fun!
1.  I have to run my little hiny off for an hour in order to lose weight.  
    You have to monitor your heart rate.  If your heart rate is too high you will be in a catabolic state.  What is catabolic you say?  A catabolic state is when your body can no longer get the nutrients it needs from the calories you have consumed or from your body fat.  At this point your body will break down your muscle tissues in search of nutrients.  How do I know when I am catabolic?  Technically exercise itself is catabolic, but there are precautions one needs to take in order to build muscle mass, not loose it.  The most basic of these being follow a simple formula.  Monitor your heart rate, you never want to get above 90% of max heart-rate.  Your max heart-rate goes off a simple formula: (220 - age) X .90... I am 24 years old so I would be in a catabolic state if my heart rate exceeds 176 bpm... (196 X .90)

2.  I have to deprive myself of food.  
I know you've heard this before but I need to get this through your head.  First and foremost eat breakfast!  Just as during a workout if you're body doesn't have adequate vitamins, nutrients, and proteins it can start to breakdown tissue in order to burn the protein found in the muscle as energy. A similar process happens when you go without food for a long time, such as that 8 hour sleeping fast.  Throughout the night your body was very busy repairing cells and tissues, you must replenish the body's nutrients for an efficient strong body which can function properly.

3.  Doing crunches will reduce belly fat
    Unfortunately we cannot spot reduce fat.  If you have a bodacious booty, you have to do more than just lower body workouts to get rid of the junk in the trunk.   The best way to reduce fat is by following an exercise program which implements resistance and cardiovascular training concepts.  In this way the aerobic state will require your body to produce energy, and through resistance training you will increase your muscle mass which will in turn raise your metabolism.  1 lb of muscle mass burns 50 calories a day at rest.  10 lbs of muscle burns 500 calories a day at rest.... you do the math. 

4.  Machines are the best way to exercise.
    SO SO SO WRONG!!  Tell me, how is sitting down and isolating one muscle group going to help you?  Sorry that hip adductor machine is not helping you get rid of those saddle bags one litttle bit.  The key is to get your entire body activated during your workout.  The only people who need not heed my advice are serious weight lifters.  For the 90% of us who want to loose body fat, tone up, and increase cardiovascular efficiency, the best thing to do is engage our whole body in an active functional movement.  Instead of doing just bicep curls incorporate a lunge.  Instead of doing regular situps, squeeze a stability ball with your feet in order to activate the glutes and inner thighs.  Incorporate fun active aerobic breaks into your circuit like the lateral shuffle.  Instead of doing regualr pushups mix it up with isometric pushups, gator pushups, traveling pushups, or incline pushups... the list is endless.  With anyone one of those pushups not just are your pecs, deltoids, triceps, traps and lats engaged in functional active movement, but your also recruiting muscles in your lumbo-pelvic hip complex as well as your posterior muscles. 

5 Exercise is boring
Well no wonder you aren't hittin he gym like you should be.  If you attach such a negative stipulation to the words, no wonder you can't get your bum off the couch.  I have this problem too, but it's associated with words like SNOW, and WINTER... I hate to hear those words, I hate to think about them.  I get serious anxiety and cortisol overload when someone even mentions those words.  Do you get the same reaction when I say exercise, gym, workout, treadmill?  Well it doesn't have to be like this.  Let's retrain your body to enjoy exercising.  In order to do this I'm going to have you make a time to workout TODAY and you employ everything in your power to make it enjoyable.  Bring a friend over, turn on music and dance, get dressed up in your favorite outfit, wear a birthday hat, act a fool, or even eat a candybar during a quick exercise break... yup that's not a typo.  I mean it, if eating a candy bar for the first bit is what it takes to help you look forward to your exercise time then eat a candy bar!  Enjoy, have fun, act silly, look sexy, do whatever it takes to enjoy your workout.  The power of positive association is incredible so retrain your brain.  I guess by that logic I need to associate winter with riding my bike or playing tennis... hmm counterintuitive... I'll have to work something else out if I really want to face my fears. :)  Moral of the story, make time today for thirty minutes of exercise and pair it with something you love!!  ENJOY!!!
Yay!!!  I just hosted my first Moab Madness boot camp.  We had lots of fun and I can't wait to do it again.  
    Hello all you future followers.  Today I'd like to start with the basics.  The top five rules to follow in order to get you taking a leap in the right direction... and way down the trail past hard work, perseverance, belief, and vision is your vision of the perfect you.  The future you is doing cartwheels in a field waiting for the present you to join them in all the fun it looking phenomenal and feeling great!

1.   Start something and start it now!  
    So many of us say night after night, tomorrow I'll do better.  Tomorrow I won't go back for seconds.  Tomorrow I won't need that slice of cheesecake.  Tomorrow I'll get my workout routine started.  Tomorrow I'll eat 6 servings of fruit and vegetables.... blah blah blah... News flash: If you don't make the change now, then when will you.  Once you start your program it gets easier... Luckily one good decision leads to another.  Just as one bad decision leads to another, so start by making a good decision right now to get the train movin'.

2. Set short term goals and follow that up with a reward upon reaching your goal.
    Why when I say reward yourself are you trained to think you need to indulge in your favorite sweet or salty treat.  You know there are other things in life that evoke those same feelings of joy you've conditioned your body to rely on from food.  Why not reward yourself with a massage, a night out at the movies, a scrumptious date, a night in with a good book...etc.

3.  Track your progress
    Keep a training journal, and a nutrition journal.  This can be as simple or elaborate as you want.  Weigh in once weekly (no more than that, it's unhealthy to obsess over a number.)  You make think you don't need this, but you'll find writing down your habits keeps you accountable.  Accountability is so important.  Accountability is something you and you alone in charge of here.  No one else is going to ask you if you've hit the gym (unless you have a workout pal, then gold star for you.)  It's time to answer to yourself.  Track your progress, write everything down.  Keep yourself in check.

4.  When you step foot in the gym have a plan 
    This might be the most important rule on this list.  It's so important that you have a plan.  As a personal trainer let me tell you so many machines in the gym are only going to waste your time.  So many of us hop on cardio for maybe a half hour, run our asses off, then wander around the machines like a deer in the headlights... and for you ladies most of us don't dare step foot in the free-weight zone.  It's like there's a testosterone shield sectioning off the area, oh and those nauseating grunts emanating from the danger zone.  The best exercises most people can do are ones using your own body weight.  There are lots of great workouts to do, the basic ones being; pushups, lunges, burpees, ball squats, single-leg squats, plank, plank with leg raise, and countless great exercises using the stability ball.  The goal is to get as many muscle groups as possible working at the same time.  So instead of just doing shoulder rolls, march or fling your leg out to the side, or find a step, or jump.... the variations are endless.  So come to the gym not only prepared with a workout, but write it down to give yourself accountability, and make sure you're using your own body weight for resistance.

5.  Change up your workout every 2 weeks
    Yup it only takes 2 weeks for your muscles to adapt to the workout you're runnin them through.  This doesn't just mean changing up your weight or type of exercise.  You want to change up all the variables.  For example if you start out with circuit training mix it up to interval training, or heavy to light, or pyramid etc.  You also want to change the angle of resistance.  If push ups are part of your regular routine, then add a step, or if sit ups are part of your regular routine throw a ball between your legs.  This way we still have the same prime mover, but you're changing up the ratio of synergistic muscle help.  Your muscles are going to need new recruits to help them perform the activity.

I don't care where you are. Right now you are starting.  Make one good decision right now!!!  Whatever aspect of life it pertains to, and endless good decisions will follow.